The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Fidelity donates to tornado relief Led by Lawton, Okla., office efforts

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  • The Fidelity Lawton office raised $2,010—and the corporate office matched it—for a combined $4,020 donation this week to tornado relief efforts in Moore, Oklahoma.
    That amount is being matched in turn by CoBank, a cooperative bank serving Oklahoma and other states, for a total donation of $8,040 to nonprofit organizations involved in the humanitarian response to the tornadoes.
    Lawton employees raised $1,383 of their total with a bake sale—including a personal $500 donation by customer service representative Bill Boling—and another $627 in donations received for waiving installation fees on new services. Fidelity’s $4,020 and the matching CoBank donation are going to the Red Cross Oklahoma Spring Storms Fund set up in the wake of the May 20 disaster in the Moore area.
    “I heard about the little kids getting killed and thought about my granddaughter,” Boling said. “What if it had been her? I thought about the pain those people must be going through, losing little kids like that. I just felt I had to do something.” A retired firefighter, Boling has seen “a lot of this kind of thing, and it just kills us,” he said.
    He also was excited about the success of the bake sale and wanted to contribute. “It’s just tremendous what’s going on in Oklahoma and the way people are responding, he added. “People just came in and donated.”
    Other organizations that will benefit from the CoBank matching fund program include Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma Disaster Relief Fund and the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Oklahoma Relief Fund.
    The bank announced last Tuesday that it had committed $75,000 to match contributions by customers to nonprofit organizations. In just four days, customers from across the country submitted approximately $150,000 in contribution requests, prompting the bank to double the amount it would match.
    In addition to the matching fund, CoBank has also contributed $25,000 directly to the American Red Cross, which has been providing food, relief supplies, health services and other forms of assistance in impacted areas.
    CoBank is a $95 billion cooperative bank that provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. The bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations serving farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states around the country.
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